- Paperback: 227 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (February 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400078431
- ISBN-13: 978-1400078431
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,238 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Year of Magical Thinking Paperback – February 13, 2007
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“Thrilling . . . a living, sharp, and memorable book. . . . An exact, candid, and penetrating account of personal terror and bereavement . . . sometimes quite funny because it dares to tell the truth.”
—Robert Pinsky, The New York Times Book Review
“Stunning candor and piercing details. . . . An indelible portrait of loss and grief.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“I can’t think of a book we need more than hers. . . . I can’t imagine dying without this book.”
—John Leonard, New York Review of Books
“Achingly beautiful. . . . We have come to admire and love Didion for her preternatural poise, unrivaled eye for absurdity, and Orwellian distaste for cant. It is thus a difficult, moving, and extraordinarily poignant experience to watch her direct such scrutiny inward.”
—Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Los Angeles Times
“An act of consummate literary bravery, a writer known for her clarity allowing us to watch her mind as it becomes clouded with grief. . . . It also skips backward in time [to] call up a shimmering portrait of her unique marriage. . . . To make her grief real, Didion shows us what she has lost.”
—Lev Grossman, Time
About the Author
Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and seven previous books of nonfiction.
Joan Didion's Where I Was From, Political Fictions, The Last Thing He Wanted, After Henry, Miami, Democracy, Salvador, A Book of Common Prayer, and Run River are available in Vintage paperback.
Top customer reviews
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"I know why we try to keep the dead alive," Didion writes. "We try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead. Let them become the photograph on the table. Let them become the name on the trust accounts. Let go of them in the water."
When my dearest husband died, I lost days, forget phone numbers, people's names, whether I showered. Reading this book provides me with somber reality that not just myself had entered the dark whirlpool of which I was too weak and lost to find my way out. This book as allowed me to read about my own road of grief... Which is not close to ending. And
Superb book, thank you. M
Didion's memoir helped me so much---her descriptions of her emotional trauma, and how she lived in the aftermath were spot-on and very similar to my own experience. I am usually very focused, detail-oriented; my memory is sharp. But since my mom died, I've been forgetful, unfocused, unmotivated. I felt like I was losing my mind. And I just kept thinking that if I could make it through the funeral, that would be the worst part. As Didion explains, that is NOT the worst part, or the hardest part---the worst and hardest things come later. Didion writes a lot about her own similar problems when grieving, and it was so good to know that it's not just me, and that it will get better. I bought a copy for my dad, too, and he devoured it and also found it very helpful---in fact he's mentioned several times how valuable this book has been to him. I know it's a memoir and not really a manual, but somehow, it has been something of a guidebook for us. I bought it on Kindle for me and a hardcover for Dad; I'm going to buy an extra copy to keep, just to have on hand in case a friend could one day benefit from it, too.
Read this book if you are dealing with a sudden, unexpected death of a loved one. Or, give it to someone else who is enduring something similar. You won't regret it.